Concern at increase in repossession actions

Wednesday 18th October 2017

Leading local advice charity, Citizens Advice Exeter, has raised concerns about an overall 3.8% increase in the number of housing repossession cases listed at Exeter County Court in the six-month period ending 30th September. This is in comparison to the same period in 2016.

Steve Barriball, Citizens Advice Exeter Chief Executive, said:

“In the last six-months there were 296 cases listed for repossession, an overall 3.8% increase, or 11 cases, on the previous year. However, there was a small reduction in mortgage repossessions, which were down by four cases.

“The biggest increase was in housing association repossessions, up by 12.7%. There were further increases of 2.7% in private rented sector cases, and 1.8% in local authority actions.

 

“For the last few years we have seen the headline number of cases listed for repossession level out. Therefore, these latest figures are concerning.

“Every case listed is a tragedy for those affected and it is essential that they are able to access the advice they need to ensure they are aware of their rights.

“We know that often landlords are frustrated at the lack of engagement by tenants when they start to build up arrears. If this is left unchecked it can result in repossession proceedings. We would recommend that any tenant in difficulty speaks to their landlord and gets advice as early as possible. “

The charity has advisers present at the Court each Tuesday morning ready to advise and advocate for those facing possession of their home. Where a Citizens Advice adviser has provided assistance repossession was avoided in 88% of cases. There were, on average, 11 cases listed across all housing sectors each week.

 

Steve continued:

“I am grateful to our staff and volunteers for providing this essential service to families and households facing repossession”.

“We are also grateful to Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council and Mid Devon District Council for funding this service.”

Repossession trends in the period 1 April – 30 September

 

Sector 2016/17

Repossessions

2017/18 Repossessions Difference % Change
Housing Association 94 106 +12 +12.7%
Private 36 37 +1 +2.7%
Local authority 109 111 +2 +1.8%
Mortgage 46 42 -4 -8.6%
Total 285 296 +11 +3.8%